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Comedian Ken Rogerson is funnier sober

By Jarrett Bellini, CNN
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Sober comedian finds success
  • Stand-up comedian Ken Rogerson has appeared in "There's Something About Mary"
  • Rogerson had a cameo as a biker fireman on the hit FX series "Rescue Me"
  • Comedians Steven Wright, Steve Sweeney and Lenny Clarke bought Rogerson a motorcycle

Editor's note: Comedians are talking funny to CNN about various topics, and we offer them for laughs in this feature of CNN Comedy.

(CNN) -- "I should be dead a thousand times over."

But Boston-based comedian Ken Rogerson is very much alive. And sober. (What a concept.)

"Cocaine and alcohol was my poison," he says. "Twenty-five years I was hooked on the stuff."

With sobriety came a taste of success, something that eluded Rogerson for the bulk of his comedy career. Granted, his achievements on camera are quite relative as compared to, say, those of his good friend Denis Leary. But work is work and Leary has been there to help him along, including, several years ago, casting him for a cameo as a biker fireman on the hit FX series "Rescue Me."

However, the highlight of his role may have come off-camera as Rogerson dumped the motorcycle he was riding. When another biker on the set questioned his ability to ride, Rogerson simply replied, "I never said I could turn."

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So, a motorcycle got a bit dented. One can only assume Leary thought it was funny.

Rogerson says, "I've known Denis since he started. He was in like the freshman class and I was like a senior. Only I never got out of high school and he went on to become a bazillionaire."

Leary, who has included Rogerson on his "Rescue Me" comedy tour, describes him as "one of the funniest guys who walks this planet." But he also jokes that, "He's a (expletive) up. What can I say? He should be a giant famous star."

He's not. But Rogerson is well respected among other comedians. In fact, in 2010 some of Boston's biggest names in comedy, including Steven Wright, Steve Sweeney and Lenny Clarke, got together to roast their friend and surprise him with a new Harley Davidson motorcycle.

Rogerson promptly crashed it into the side of Sweeney's car.

Two for two!

While he has primarily focused his career on stand-up, Rogerson has also provided a couple memorable small moments in some big-name films, such as "Fever Pitch" and "There's Something About Mary." But for now, Rogerson is just enjoying being a sober comic and a good dad, and he insists that there's life beyond getting drunk and stoned.

"Not to be preachy, but you really can have a good time without the stuff. And you remember it. And you don't get thrown out of places."

He adds, "You don't get to meet as many cops if you're sober, but you know. ..."

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